Univision Recognizes Importance of Multi-lingual Communications in a Crisis

Almost 39 million Americans speak Spanish at home, according to a 2018 U.S. Census survey. While 26 million say they speak English "very well," or "well," more than 9 million do not feel confident in the language, and some do not speak it at all.

While this may seem like a smaller number vs the U.S. population (327 million), it creates a significant language barrier in select regions of the country. And Hispanics make up one of the fastest-growing groups. The Census Bureau projects that in 2060 Hispanic people will make up 30 percent, or 119 million, of the country's population.

This poses a challenge for communicators, particularly during a crisis, who need to share messages with citizens and consumers. It's important to consider multi-lingual messaging, particularly regarding updates during the COVID-19 outbreak, so every constituent knows the latest facts.

Bobby Amirshahi, SVP, corporate communications at Univision Communications, knows the importance of being able to get vital information to a mostly-Spanish-speaking audience, as well as communicating these updates internally within the company.

Tuesday (March 17, 2020), Univision announced its commitment to providing ongoing coverage of the latest developments across its linear and digital platforms.

Univision Steps Up in Spanish

The statement detailed programming to include up-to-the-minute information for its Spanish-speaking audience. The programming also will live on its social channels.

"Univision News will telecast a network-wide special, Diario del Coronavirus (Coronavirus Daily), daily at 3 p.m. ET, preempting local programming and providing viewers with comprehensive coverage about COVID-19.  It has also launched a Q&A segment on its morning show Despierta América (Wake Up America) with Univision’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Juan Rivera, in partnership with Facebook. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the Q&A and send in questions regarding the current state of COVID-19 and ways to maintain social and mental health during the pandemic."

Having Spanish-speaking resources, particularly surrounding topics with intricate details like healthcare or the economy, can help an organization reach the extended multilingual audience. Dr. Rivera has become an important resource for the organization, and not just on-air, Amirshahi said.

"We’re leveraging our chief medical correspondent Dr. Rivera for PSAs on our air in Spanish," he said. "He is also taping internal tips and updates to our employees in English. We host Dr Juan’s internal-facing videos on our COVID-19 Resource Page on our intranet site.

The site, launched weeks ago, also offers tips on teleworking from home and using our remote working resources, accessing your health insurance telemedicine resources, company protocols and guidelines during the crisis and much more."

This article is part of PRNEWS' daily COVID-19 coverage, click here to see the latest updates.